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Founded in 1904 by Alice Coleman (later Alice Coleman Batchelder), the Coleman Chamber Music Association is one of the oldest organizations in the United States dedicated to the presentation, understanding, and enjoyment of chamber music.
Coleman’s activities include an annual series of six chamber music concerts in Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium and a nationally recognized annual competition for young chamber music performers.
When Miss Alice Coleman introduced her concerts in 1904, performance was effectively the only way to hear music. Recordings could be made on cylinders lasting no more than two minutes, and radio lay far in the future. Today access to music is much wider, but the magic of live performance remains unique. In 2004 Coleman celebrated a full century of devotion to the performance and development of chamber music.
The responsibility for Coleman rests with a full-time executive director and a dedicated and inventive board of diverse but musically-minded members of the community. The Friends of Coleman, a volunteer support group, is of vital importance in the logistics of the Competition and other occasional activities of the Association. Bookkeeping, accounting and investment counsel are contracted for outside the organization.
Coleman’s revenue is derived from ticket sales, concert sponsorship, endowment income and gifts from organizations, foundations and individuals. Annual gifts are essential for all of Coleman’s operations. Coleman is a non-profit organization, and gifts are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.